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Mayhem (2017)




Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) is having a really bad day. After being unjustly fired from his job, he discovers that the law firm’s building is under quarantine for a mysterious and dangerous virus. Chaos erupts throughout the office as the victims of the disease begin acting out their wildest impulses. Joining forces with a former client (Samara Weaving) who has a grudge of her own, Derek savagely fights tooth and nail to get to the executives on the top floor and settle the score once and for all.

Genre : Action-Horror
Country : USA

Cast :
Steven Yeun : Derek Cho
Samara Weaving : Melanie Cross
Steven Brand : John Towers
Director : Joe Lynch

Let The Mayhem Begin

One of the things that makes film such a special medium is how they can make the mundane seem magical. Something as simple as a child’s toy collection can be not only have an adventure but can bring grown men to tears in the process. Movies can take something as nerve wracking as dating and turn it into an easy-going experience with the right musical cue and romantic moment. Seemingly he one place movies can’t make look good is the workplace.

Despite a film’s ability to enchant very rarely is your typical office job portray as a good thing. Aside from occasionally being fantastical things never actually seem enjoyable. At best the job will be depicted as a mind-numbing slog like in Office Space and at worst will be an evil corporation like Total Recall‘s Rekall. But no matter how annoying the job may be one thing is for certain, it always comes back to the workplace. And this is no truer than in Joe Lynch‘s latest, Mayhem.

If you think this sounds a lot like January’s The Belko Experiment I don’t blame you. With both movies being about blood-soaked carnage taking over an office building it’s easy to mistake the two. In fact, I’m sure I saw the “Battle Royale meets The Office” used as pull quotes for both films. While a good descriptor it is much more fitting when applied to Mayhem. Unlike it’s bigger budgeted counterpart Mayhem doesn’t feel like a typical horror-action movie. Instead of being a more straight forward horror take Belko had Mayhem is more of a cynical look at comes to corporate life. It has a lot more personality to it and I attribute due to the influence of director Joe Lynch.


Similar to his past work in Wrong Turn II and Knights of Badassdom, Lynch does a phenomenal job mixing genres. He never lets the plot get too heavy while also never letting it become an outright comedy either. It rides the fine line between horror and humor that few directors can nail. With a more lighthearted tone and likable characters it doesn’t feel like the more sterile film The Belko Experiment became.

Aside from the writing a big part of this is the casting of Steven Yeun. His first lead role since leaving The Walking Dead he more than delivers as Derek Cho. Like his time as Glenn, Yeun brings with him an innocence to the role that makes him the perfect protagonist. No matter what craziness happens while he is infected you never think of him as a bad guy just someone stuck in a bad situation. Just as good in the film is his co-star Samara Weaving as Melanie. Introduced as the kind of victim of corporate America you’d expect to see in a drama she quickly sheds this image to reveal an absolutely kick ass heroine. With a sympathetic, if familiar, backstory and the right cache of weapons Melanie is the kind of wish you’d bad ass you want to be in a horror movie. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the rest of the cast. That isn’t to say that the supporting cast is bad because they aren’t. Character actors Steven Brand, Caroline Chikezie and Dallas Roberts put in some deliciously evil performances. The problem is how one note they feel. There is really no motive or reason, they’re just evil. Not that I think every character needs to a tragic backstory in a movie like Mayhem. I just wish there was a bit more than generic corporate villainy turned up to 11. Of course, you don’t go into a film titled Mayhem looking for a fun script or likable heroes. Those are just a bonus. No, what audiences are looking for is cinematic chaos and thankfully Mayhem delivers.


Like Lynch’s last film Everly, Mayhem moves at a frenetic pace that doesn’t lets up. Never holding back on the blood or the violence it ratchets it up with each scene. Each scene taking things up a notch before it’s explosive finale. Like the best horror-action movies Mayhem doesn’t delves too far into either genre, instead giving both their due on screen. If there is a stumbling block it would be the film’s budget. While the ambition and ideas are there the budget and story limit the settings. Aside from a few unconventional weapons and set pieces the scenes can look the same after a while. Everly has proven that Joe Lynch can get quite creative with his action scenes if given the proper resources. Regardless despite this downside you’ll never leave a scene unsatisfied.

2017 has been a big year for horror movies both critically and commercially. Whether it’s mainstream fare like IT or to sleep hits such as It Comes At Night they all have one things in common, a passion for the genre. Directors such as Jordan Peele and Andrés Muschietti’s passion for the genre shows on the screen and Mayhem is no different. With Joe Lynch behind the cameras audiences are treated to a bloody and subversive take on corporate America. While it certainly has its issues, and isn’t the most original film it more than delivers on its namesake. Fun if flawed Mayhem has the perfect mix of action and scares to bring 2017 to a close.

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB




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Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.





Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:



Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah


Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

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Kung Fu Panda 4 Review: Po and Co are Back to Pack Hilarious Punches.



I’ve seen too many great animation franchises deliver diminishing returns with more and more sequels. To name some recent examples one could include How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Cars, etc. Kung Fu Panda is another franchise that unfortunately falls in this category. The threequel that released in 2016, was most people’s choice for the weakest entry in the beloved franchise. So that made me pretty skeptical whether the world was ready for this franchise to return and gave us good cause not to have expectations set too high, especially given the weak marketing campaign and smaller production budget. To make things worse, it was being reported that the furious five would not be a part of the story.

So I went in with my expectations in check but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been 8 years since the last Kung Fu Panda movie, but the characters are somehow still fresh and fun. One of the best things that the makers are able to do is remind the viewers what makes Po such a darling and why we love him so much. Jack Black is such a natural fit for his voice and makes this character special with his wit and wisdom in this latest entry. 

This entry is notably structured in a very different way from the other 3 entries. This one focuses on Po’s search for a successor and his ascension to the Master of Peace. The main characters are split up pretty early in the movie and are sent on separate adventures in a sort of buddy-cop-style scenario. On one side we have Po and Awkwafina’s Zhen, and on the other, we have Bryan Cranston and James Hong as Po’s dads. These two duos are a lot of fun in their own ways.

(from left) Po (Jack Black) and Zhen (Awkwafina) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Po and Xen have more of a good boy-bad boy dynamic, while the dads have more of a light-hearted brotherhood between them. Both pairs of misfits deliver a string of humorously entertaining sequences that will have you laughing your heart out. The humor here works for most parts apart from one or two instances and the dialogue in particular is very smartly written. The story, on the other hand, is where the movie is at its weakest.

The structuring is pretty generic with a very cliche twist at the beginning of the second half and the script mostly fails to provide significantly fresh plot points. But credit to it for executing the successor plotline better than a lot of movies that have tried it, especially Cars 3. The writers make sure to put their entire focus on humor and entertainment value, but they do come up with a couple of charming moments and some subplots that come full circle.

The animation here is surprisingly really good, especially given the significantly lower budget. The trailers didn’t get too many people encouraged about the quality of animation, but I can tell you that even though it’s not DreamWorks’ best, it’s still really well done. The background score also hits the right spot where it’s able to compliment the scene and lift it at the same time. The voice work here is also pretty solid. Jack Black is amazing as always and Awkwafina Ke Huy Quan are welcome additions.

(Center) Chameleon (Viola Davis) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Apart from Po, the best part of the movie is Li and Ping. They are the heart of this movie. The two of them have incredible chemistry and Mike Mitchell finds a way to bring out the best from the both of them. They play off of each other in the most silly, but whimsical manner which is just a joy to watch. We could do with a spin-off of them. Ian McShane’s return as Tai Lung is another highlight here. He is nicely integrated and fits well into the story being told. On the other hand, Viola Davis’ Chameleon is somewhat of a disappointment. For a villain that has the powers of all the previous villains, she was a rather tame antagonist.

Overall, Kung Fu Panda 4 is a return to form for the beloved franchise. It has a lot of elements that made the franchise successful and is a much-needed reminder of how much we love these characters and in particular, Po. Jack Black knocks it out of the park with Bryan Cranston and James Hong emerging as surprise standouts. It lacks the emotional depth of the first two entries and has a disappointingly tame villain. But it is a major improvement from the last entry and unsurprisingly very very entertaining.

Kung Fu Panda 4 releases in cinemas on March 8.

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One More Shot: Scott Adkins Returns in This Kick Ass Sequel Seemingly Shot in One Take.

With many immersing and kick ass action sequences, One More Shot is another technically impressive action film from director James Nunn.



Scott Adkins One More Shot

Bigger, better, and more kick-ass than the first, One More Shot is another impressive one-take action film full of tension, stakes, and adrenaline fuelled action sequences. Much like the first, One More Shot is another action film shot in one-continuous take. With hidden cuts of course. This one-take style adds a greater level of intensity to the film by immersing audiences deeper into the action, and connecting audiences closer to it’s characters. James Nunn’s work behind the camera is even more precise than his previous effort. Blending excellent camera work, explicit framing, and fluid editing Nunn leave audiences with punchy (no pun intented), smooth, and enthralling action movie experience.

Scott Adkins once again kicks ass as Jake Harris, delivering another exhausting performance as he takes out waves of bad guys with guns, knives, and of course, his infamous high kicks. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was pretty underwhelming with Alexis Knapp being the worst offender. Likewise, as exciting as it was to have Michael Jai White star alongside Scott Adkins again, he certainly doesn’t get the screen time he definitely deserved. White should have been the main antagonist. Not a high level bodyguard. With that said however, Michael Jai White’s and Scott Adkins’ brawl was a phenomenal piece of action cinema that action movie fans shouldn’t miss.

One More Shot is an action extravaganza with impressive work both on and off camera, and a brilliant early contender for action movie of the year.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

After the attack on the black site in Poland, Navy SEAL Jake Harris must escort suspect Amin Mansur (Waleed Elgadi) to Washington DC for interrogation. However, after the two become trapped at an airport in the US by an army of armed mercanaries, Jake Harris must protect Mansur or else the fate of America would be on his head.

Much like its predecessor One More Shot is a very technically impressive action movie. Whilst James Nunn proved himself as a fantastic action movie director with his previous endeavour, it’s One More Shot that truly cements it. The filmmaker nails the tension, pacing, cinematography and framing of every fight. The airport setting is much more immersing setting compared to the previous one, allowing for much more creative, and tight action sequences.

Complementing Nunn’s excellent direction, was the casts breathtaking physicality. Unsurprisingly Adkins steals the show with his efficiently brutal, and fast paced martial arts which add a level of finesse, and polish to every fight scene. Likewise, Michael Jai White was another standout. His large physique, matched with his fast and incredibly precise combat proves a deadly foe. Despite the amount of times we have seen Adkins and White go toe to toe, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Both performers are expert in their craft and give every fight between the two their all. While it would’ve benefitted the film if Michael Jai White had a greater role to play, it was still an unrelenting, and exhilarating brawl. Fingers crossed he’s the big bad in the next one.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

While many have come to see fist fights, shoot outs, and explosions, One More Shot boast’s a surprisingly developed script that’s much deeper than its predecessor. Writers James Nunn, and Jamie Russell provide a well paced and intriguing story full of heart and tension. The characters are far more developed, and introducing audiences to Mansur’s wife, and unborn child greatly elevated the stakes.

The performances where perhaps the films biggest downfall. Adkins was fantastic, White was incredible, and Waleed Elgadi was captivating. As for the rest, their performances just felt lazy. They brought zero nuance to their characters, and seeing them on screen provoked a thought’s of “Damn, I can’t wait to they get killed off”.

One More Shot’s ending is a little abrupt, and while it does have a sweet resolution, the film sort of just ends. We don’t get to see much of the repocussions of the events that unfolding throughout the movie which raises more questions that answers. However, we guarantee that James Nunn and Jamie Russell are working a script for the final film, undoubtedly titled “One Last Shot”. Fingers crossed.

While it may be a little premature, One More Shot is damn great action film that could easily end up on many “Best Action Movie of the Year” lists by the time December roles around. It’s technically impressive, boasting great camera work, and imagery with many adrenaline fuelled action sequences scattered throughout.

One More Shot is available to purchase on demand January 16th

Check out the trailer below:

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